Archive for the ‘State Income’ Category

Cash In A Clunker, Pay The Tax Piper

August 26, 2009

When the government decided to redistribute up to $4,500 of taxpayers’ wealth to people who drive old cars, the owners of the “clunkers” jumped at the chance to get their cut. And why not? It’s free money.

Not so fast. You suckers should know by now that what one government giveth, another government taketh away.

Uncle Sam agreed to give your dealer cash so you could get that big discount on your car, but Aunt Virginia is going to take her cut from you by taxing that cash discount as income. And if your dealer doesn’t get you all of the proper paperwork in time, you’ll be paying interest and penalties, too.

Enjoy the ride.

[Cross-posted at The Enlightened Redneck]

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What Whoopi Said: ‘Back Off Me!’

March 11, 2009

An anti-tax rant from the mouth of actress and talk-show hostess Whoopi Goldberg:

“I don’t mind payin’ a little more tax ’cause I make a good living. But I don’t wanna get it comin’ and goin’. I don’t wanna get the federal raised, and then the state raised, and then the phone tax raised, and then the television tax raised, and then the city tax. Back off me!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. (Hat tip to the National Taxpayers Union)

The United States Of Sales Taxes

November 17, 2008
How much do you pay in sales taxes? The Tax Foundation has the answer.

How much do you pay in sales taxes?

Joseph Henchman of the Tax Foundation created this helpful map of the states with the highest and lowest sales taxes (hat tip to The Club For Growth):

You might think I would be grateful that my family lives in Virginia, but as a Virginian, I know we pay a higher price in property taxes and income taxes. Aunt Virginia and her political kin will get their pound of flesh one way or another.

Have Fun In Jail, Melissa Etheridge

November 8, 2008

This blog exists because I hate paying taxes and hate even more the passion that so many politicians have for taking even more money out of my wallet. But as a Christian, I pay every penny of taxes I owe, whether to Uncle Sam, Aunt Virginia or their cousins across America.

That’s why I was a bit irritated to read that singer Melissa Etheridge, who had plans to marry her lesbian lover in California until the state voted this week to ban gay marriages, said she won’t pay a half-million dollars in taxes to the Golden State because she didn’t get her way at the ballot box.

Uh, excuse me, if everyone stops paying their taxes when democracy doesn’t work in their favor, nobody will pay taxes. That’s a recipe for anarchy, and it’s not a legal form of civil disobedience.

My guess is that Ms. Etheridge is all bluster. She’s making an idle threat to make a public point. But if not, she can say hello to convicted tax-evading actor Wesley Snipes when she ends up in the slammer.

A Rush Of New Taxes For Limbaugh

July 3, 2008

Jealous liberal journalists who long to be richer than Rush Limbaugh have been falling all over themselves to criticize their conservative nemesis and the undisputed champion of talk radio the past couple of days.

Why? Because he just negotiated a contract renewal with Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Radio, that reportedly will net him $400 million over eight years, including a nine-figure signing bonus.

Why that’s a problem is beyond me. If Premiere didn’t think Limbaugh was worth it based on past performance, the company wouldn’t have made the deal. It’s the free market at work, and every liberal who is whining about the deal would take all that money and then some if offered it for doing their jobs.

Besides, every liberal should be celebrating the rush of taxes that will flow into government coffers thanks to Limbaugh.

The numbers are staggering any way you look at it. I asked Peter Sepp, vice president for policy and communications at the National Taxpayers Union, to guesstimate Limbaugh’s tax bite from his new contract. With the obvious caveat that “there are a whole lot of variables both in the structure of his compensation package and the strategies he employs that would affect the actual tax burden,” Sepp predicted that Limbaugh will pay anywhere from one-third to 40 percent of his compensation to the government in taxes.

I’ll do the math for you: That’s $132 million to $160 million in taxes! And Sepp said the bite would be far worse if Limbaugh lived somewhere other than Florida, which has no state income tax and light business taxes. If he lived in California, the Golden Treasury State, he would have added up to 10 percent more ($40 million) to the tax tab.

That’s not counting all of the sales, property, gas and other taxes Limbaugh will be paying every time he spends a million dimes. And his penchant for cigars and other “sins” means he’ll be on the hook for even more.

Here’s the way all the liberals in the media and government should be looking at Limbaugh’s contract: He’s a one-man economic stimulus machine. Just imagine how many more pork projects will be funded over the next eight years because Rush Limbaugh got a hefty raise.

A Century Of Tax Mischief

May 5, 2008

My Dad forwarded to me an e-mail that included this gem about all of the taxes conceived in the minds of politicians over the past century (the impact of several of them on just our family has been chronicled on this blog):

Accounts receivable tax
Building permit tax
CDL license tax
Cigarette tax
Corporate income tax
Dog license tax
Federal income tax
Federal unemployment tax
Fishing license tax
Food license tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline tax
Hunting license tax
Inheritance tax
Inventory tax
IRS interest charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor tax
Luxury tax
Marriage license tax
Medicare tax
Property tax
Real-estate tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security tax
Road usage tax (truckers)
Sales taxes
Recreational vehicle tax
School tax
State income tax
State unemployment tax
Telephone taxes
— Federal excise
— Universal service fee
— Federal, state and local surcharges
— Minimum-usage surcharge
— Taxes on recurring and non-recurring phone charges
— State and local phone taxes
— Telephone-usage charge tax
Utility tax
Vehicle registration tax
Vehicle sales tax
Watercraft registration tax
Well permit tax
Workers compensation tax

The kicker to the e-mail: “Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?'”

The Tax Check Is In The Mail

April 7, 2008

I finalized our state and federal income-tax forms over the weekend. The paperwork weighed enough that Kimberly had to put them on the scales at the post office before we mailed them to Uncle Sam and Aunt Virginia.

That $2.15 in postage is being recorded here both because the U.S. Postal Service is kinda like Uncle Sam’s ugly stepchild and because the $2.15 is a direct result of Uncle Sam and Aunt Virginia taxing my family.

Tax Day Is Just Around The Corner

March 22, 2008

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when the bureaucrats of the IRS and the Virginia Taxation Department force average Dans like me to spend hours upon hours completing tax form after tax form.

I worked through some of the forms earlier this year to estimate our bill or refund. But after realizing that we’ll actually owe a small amount of money to the IRS, I delayed the final run-through until yesterday. It took me four-and-a-half hours to complete all of the forms! Every time I thought I was making progress, I hit a line that directed me to a new form.

Part of that is because we are able to claim the adoption tax credit. The paperwork to get that credit, and the related “additional child tax credit,” is particularly egregious and mind-boggling. I’ve always been tempted to hire an accountant and save myself the headaches, but I suffer through it to save a few hundred bucks.

I also have to complete a bunch of extra forms because I registered one of my blogs, AirCongress, as a limited liability corporation. I hired an accountant to complete those forms for me last year, but this year I saved a little money by doing the work myself, with the forms from last year as a guide.

My work on income taxes this year won’t be included as part of the 2008 annual tally for this blog because it was for the tax year 2007. But here are the totals, in case you’re curious: $404 in federal income taxes (almost non-existent because of the adoption credit and our mortgage interest and other itemized write-offs) and $2,915 in state income taxes.

Uncle Sam would have taken $5,161 from us if not for the adoption credit. We’ve now exhausted that benefit from our 2005 adoption of Catie and will have to pay the full federal tax amount minus itemized deductions for 2008. That’s actually a good thing for purposes of this blog because it will result in a more accurate picture of the federal tax bite.

Lay Off The Layoff Taxes

February 6, 2008

There’s a good reason that I have a new job: I lost my old one as the editor of National Journal’s Technology Daily in a layoff. My last day was Jan. 31.

I was blessed enough to find gainful employment quickly, but not everyone is so fortunate. Sadly, our tax system can make life much harder for people who lose jobs.

The severance check I received to day drove that point home for me. The deductions from it for federal income taxes, state income taxes, and Social Security and Medicare would have been enough to pay the mortgage for two extra months had our family been forced to live on the generous severance.

I’m not exaggerating — and the tax bite on us was much smaller than it could have been. The federal government forces companies to treat such lump-sum severance payments like bonuses, which means the tax rate is 25 percent. The rate was significantly less for me because we have so many itemized deductions.

Governments should not be allowed to tax severance. It makes absolutely no sense to rob families of money that would help them buy food, pay the rent and live day to day while seeking new employment, and then turn around and give them food stamps and unemployment benefits that aren’t enough to pay the bills.

That’s bureaucratic logic for you. Lay off the layoff taxes, Uncle Sam and Aunt Virginia.

The Tax Hikers Of Michigan

February 2, 2008

Peel away all of the high-gloss rhetoric from proposals to raise taxes and you’ll see that they are about one thing and one thing only: increasing the size of government.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is trying to make Michigan citizens understand that reality as their “representatives” plot tax hikes of all types.

“Proponents of higher taxes, including municipal and university officials, are campaigning to wrest more money from Michigan citizens in order to grow government yet again,” the center argues. It cites plenty of dry yet compelling data to make the case against more taxes, adding that “Michigan families can hardly afford a heavier tax burden.”

The W-2 Stomach Flu

January 24, 2008

My annual W-2 form arrived today, an ugly reminder of how much of my income went straight from my employer to various governments without me seeing a penny of it.

Because of our latest adoption in 2005 and the resulting adoption and child tax credits, the federal government hasn’t been getting much from me in the form of income taxes. But thousands of dollars this year went toward Social Security and Medicare. The Commonwealth of Virginia got a similar chunk.

I’m not sure we’ll get a refund this year because we will exhaust the adoption credit. We may even owe money to either Uncle Sam or Aunt Virginia for the first time in years. So much for that tax rebate.

It’s enough to make a man sick.